Police in the Free State have launched a manhunt for a group of men who went on a crime spree in and around Bloemfontein, killing a police officer. File picture: Skyler Reid

Cape Town - Police in the Free State on Monday said it launched a manhunt for a group of men who went on a crime spree in and around Bloemfontein, killing a police officer and another man.

According to a statement from police, four armed men accosted police detective sergeant Motse Monyayi and his wife outside their home in Phahameng, Bloemfontein.

The suspects shot and killed Monyaki after robbing him of his official firearm and other household items before fleeing the scene in the police officer's vehicle.

"The suspects then drove to Mafora location where at about 8:05pm they allegedly robbed a taxi driver who had stopped at a tuckshop for his assistant to buy bread. They allegedly fired two shots and robbed him of an undisclosed amount of money, a cellphone and Quantum keys," police said.

Later the same evening the four robbers killed a man in front of his brother after forcing the two to lie down on the ground with four other victims who they were robbing.

They also assaulted a man whom they accused of driving recklessly. They made off with his cash and car keys.

"The killing of our investigator has dealt us a blow and we will do everything in our power to trace and bring to justice those responsible for his brutal murder including other people who were victimised by the same suspects," said acting Free State police commissioner Tollie Afonso.

Afonso called on residents in Bloemfontein to provide them with information to bring the men to book. 

African News Agency/ANA